Vale aiming to prolong its Manitoba nickel operations with $122 million investment

Vale has announced it will spend US$122 million on exploration at its Thompson nickel operations in the Canadian province of Manitoba, where the Brazilian company has been mining since 1961.

The investment – Vale’s largest such commitment at Thompson nickel – aims to establish new deposits in the region that would extend the company’s mining operations well beyond 2040.

Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations chief operating officer Dino Otranto said the investment was just one part of the company’s ambitious Thompson turnaround story.

“[We have a] plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come,” he said in a media statement.

The first phase of Vale’s extension project will incorporate critical infrastructure work, such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution.

Vale said that the phase one changes are expected to improve current production by 30%. The company is the world’s number one producer of nickel.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel–positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand,” said Vale’s executive vice-president for base metals Mark Travers.